Allulose is also known as D-psicose. It is classified as a “rare sugar” because it is naturally present in only a few foods. Wheat, figs and raisins all contain it.
Like glucose and fructose, allulose is a monosaccharide, or single sugar. In contrast, table sugar, also known as sucrose, is a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose joined together. In fact, allulose has the same chemical formula as fructose, but is arranged differently. This difference in structure prevents your body from processing allulose the way it processes fructose.
Although 70–84% of the allulose you consume is absorbed into your blood from your digestive tract, it is eliminated in the urine without being used as fuel. It’s been shown to resist fermentation by your gut bacteria, minimizing the likelihood of bloating, gas or other digestive problems. And here’s some good news for people who have diabetes or are watching their blood sugar — it does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
Allulose also provides only 0.2–0.4 calories per gram, or about 1/10 the calories of table sugar. In addition, early research suggests that allulose has anti-inflammatory properties, and may help prevent obesity and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Although small amounts of this rare sugar are found in some foods, in recent years, manufacturers have used enzymes to convert fructose from corn and other plants into allulose. The taste and texture have been described as identical to table sugar. It is about 70% as sweet as sugar, which is similar to the sweetness of erythritol, another popular sweetener.
Additionally, a number of animal studies have found that it lowers blood sugar, increases insulin sensitivity and decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes by protecting the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Early research also suggests that allulose may have beneficial effects on blood sugar regulation in humans.